Friday, December 25, 2009

This Most Ancient of Days

Sometimes I wonder if this isn't the oldest holiday in human history. For ancient societies- particularly in the cold, dark north- the rebirth of the Sun must have been an incredible epiphany. Which may be why the most resonant Christmas memes are still about evergreens and snow and lights in the darkness and all of the rest of it- even in much balmier climates.

Speaking of which, here's one of the most enduring tunes from the rash of Christmas specials produced in the 1960s & 70s. The eternal war of light and dark, heat and cold all done to a Vaudevillian Dixieland beat. Classic stuff. Designs by the great Paul Coker Jr., one of my biggest cartooning influences. This is from The Year Without a Odin Santa Claus.

I wonder how the future colonists will commemorate the Winter Solstice on Mars. It may well be the closest analogue to the ancient northern cultures that the future will see. It will be interesting if and how they choose to celebrate when the elements show them a little mercy.


  1. Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays or Be Good, etc., whatever works for your good sir.

    Light/dark, heat/light, yin/yang. I'm hoping this year brings us a whole lot closer to bridging those cold, dark gaps.

    4 me, this is the time to think big. Maybe if we reach for the stars the good ol' fashioned organic way, this reality will give us a good show.

    I'm gonna make this a ToothyGrinYear.


    Peace in, Peace out.

  2. Interesting that "Mr. Green Christmas" is "Mr. Sun."

  3. I celebrated the longest night out in the forest with a huge bonfire, not necessarily intended to usher in the return of the sun, but there you have it.

    It has occurred to me that the birth of Christ should have been enough of a myth, symbolizing as it does the days getting longer, leading up to the spring when our sustenance reawakens along with it.

    I mean, why death in spring only three days before the resurrection? Isn't an immaculate conception and a virgin birth enough? I suspect the Christian Easter has more to do with an unconscious human need to sacrifice life other than our own.

    That said, Happy Upswing, Chris and everbody!

  4. Paul Coker Jr. was an absolute master of the pen on paper. There was a zippy LIFE that exuded out of his drawings. I always try (then and now) to make sure the viewer can actually SEE that the pen line has life - it is MOTION.

    Paul Coker Jr. did some beautiful stuff, ad I think he still shows up in MAD magazine, and his stuf still looks great.

  5. Hey Chris, Merry Christmas!

    I was stoked today to see that my girlfriend had bought me Our Gods Wear Spandex like I had asked for. I hope other Secret Sun readers will pick it up as well.

    Thank you for all of the work that you do on this page. I have learned so much from reading it and by following links to youtube, other blogs etc. I really appreciate it.

    I can't wait to see what secrets we learn this year. Peace. David.

  6. "What we now call the Christian religion existed amongst the ancients, and was from the beginning of the human race, until Christ Himself came in the flesh; from which time the already existing true religion began to be styled Christian" (Augustine, Retract., I, xiii, 3).

    Christmas is not just the birth of the sun, of course. The Mystery of the Christian religion was the identity of Self with Christ, just as was done with Mithras, Dionysus and Osiris. Happy Aeon-day!

    "In many places they celebrated a very great festival in the night of Epiphany. . . particularly in the so-called Koreion at Alexandria. There is an immense temple there, the temenos of Kore. After watching all night, singing and playing the flute in honor of the sacred image, and celebrating a pannychis, they go down after cock crow, bearing torches, into a kind of underground crypt, carrying a carved wooden idol, who sits naked on a bier and has a cruciform golden seal on his forehead, two more on his hands, and two more on his knees, altogether five gold seals. They carry the god seven times round the center of the temple amid loud playing of flutes and drums and singing of hymns, and then carry it to this underground place. When they are asked what mystery this is, they say that at this hour Kore—that is, the virgin has given birth to the Aeon" (Epiphanius, Panarion, 51).

  7. It'll be interesting to see the holidays that arise from living on other planets.
    Hope ya had a good one, friend.

  8. Speaking of which, have you seen today's google art?

  9. And did you see National Geographic magazine's December issue? "Are We Alone?"

  10. i hate christians and their ignorant religion which spreads ignorance throught the world.

    it raped cultures and burned knowledges

    shame on christians

  11. "it raped cultures and burned knowledges"...well said. I see on this alleged "enlightenment/light-bearer" blog we're busy hailing the ancient sun cult while simultaneously disparaging the matter of historical record that is the first coming of Jesus the Christ. Interesting how in the pursuit of "esoteric" knowledge - because only the truest and most valuable things in life are hidden! - readers here take pleasure in denying the exoteric coming of Jehovah God in the flesh, a reaction prophesied 2,000 years ago. After all it's much more convenient to disregard the overwhelming existence of a Creator to which you will ultimately be held accountable than it is to live in honor of a one who came to tell you that Creator wants to have a relationship with you - on his terms, of course. Praise God your beloved sun cultists were so threatened by the true Light of the World that they had to merge their ancient pantheist religion with the teachings of Christ in order to salvage an empire.
    "And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."
    John 12:32
    Merry Christmas and may the God of Israel bless you pagans.

  12. Ian, I certainly never said that. Re-read that Augustine quote.

    "For the sun never could show me the true God; but that healthful Word (Logos), that is the Sun of the soul, by whom alone, when He arises in the depths of the soul, the eye of the soul itself is irradiated" (Clement of Alexandria).

  13. OK, Daddy's home. Comment moderation is back on. Ian and Anony- take it outside.

  14. yo Dad ... Egypt exports 170,000 tons of Figs each year according to 2005 records (at wiki) I just searched figs, cause they cover a topic of interest

  15. Eleleth, your are spot on . What knowledge/gnosis you have.Shine forth brave souls. Dennis